The interview from Hades

I had an interview the other day. It didn't go very well (at least, I didn't think so). Aside from a few questions (that I didn't think were well phrased, and the hiring manager didn't seem to like my answers to) I was given a "puzzle" to solve. I didn't solve it in the time alloted; apparently that killed my chances as a candidate (it certanly ended the interview rather abruptly).

I find these new-fangled MicroSoft-inspired interview tactics to be very lame. If anyone throws this one at you, you'll have had an opportunity to think about it ahead of time:

The 17-minute Crossing Puzzle

4 people are "escaping from zombies" (or whatever). It is night. They have 1 lantern between them. They reach a gorge, spanned by a log bridge. There are crocodiles in the gorge (or at any rate, it's very deep). They need to cross the gorge before the zombies arrive (cross completely, then destroy the bridge).

As with all such puzzles, there are various artificial constraints:

It gets more complicated (of course)

(How they know this ahead of time is not provided by the puzzle gods).

Your job is to get everyone across the bridge, never more than two on the bridge at a time, always a lantern on the bridge, in under 18 minutes so they outwit the zombies

If you say "Oh that's easy" (AND get it right too :) you can go interview for this job...

The answer is here